BEING CYNICAL

Being Cynical

Cynical: believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest;
distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.

We aren’t cynical, are we?!

How do we counter being cynical? We only have to hear the words ‘religion’ and ‘politicians’ or a particular name, and we switch off. We simply distrust. We may feel ashamed to be cynical but, of course, it’s normal, because we have been conditioned. We are all conditioned beings, programmed by earlier trauma. Those who assume that they are not cynical are just play acting.

If I look at my teacher sitting on a throne in brocades and robes, holding varjas and bells and maybe wearing a head dress, I can either wonder what the point is, or accept that is the way Tibetans act. And then there is all the bowing and prostrating by the students to both the teacher and the shrine: it is supposed to be an antidote to pride, but these actions may be an act of pride in themselves.

We are either cynical or we just accept things.
The point is, both attitudes are doing ‘my’ head in 😀
Is there anything wrong with either blindly accepting, or being cynical?

It all depends on whether we are fixated with our view. Either way, we have a conditioned mind, and that is normal for unenlightened, sentient beings – so don’t feel wrong about this.

There are two ways to address this issue. One is complex, and the other, simple.

From a spiritual point of view, we can use antidotes – such as chanting, mindfulness, introspection – to counter a distrustful mind. We realise that we are cynical because of previous experiences; we have been conditioned – but couldn’t the chanting, mindfulness and introspection also simply be conditioning us?

The simple way to end cynicism is to be aware that our mind hasbeen conditioned, and that the cynicism is not usbut rather, a result of past experiences held in mind. We are merely conscious awareness noting these fixations. Weare not cynical: the conditioned mind is. In that we can trust. Of course, religion, politicians and people are tainted, but so are we, and there’s no need to throw ‘the baby out with the bath water’. At a deeper level, we all want the same thing – to be open, honest and enlightened.

It’s a big ask, but we start with our closed-minded self.

A practice: bring up a memory of someone you distrust or who seems naïve. Savour those mistrusting qualities. Are they real? No, they’re just ideas. That person is only projecting their inadequatenesses … so what? Aren’t we all?

We are free in the moment of seeing. Enjoy it! What a relief when we can leave people alone.

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SOMETHING REALISED IS SOMETHING DESTROYED

Something Realised Is Something Destroyed

Knowingness destroys ignorance.
Confidence destroys doubt.
Inner peace destroys agitation.

When we have knowingness, confidence, and inner peace, we value these. This deepens our appreciation for the transmission of these qualities. Those transmissions come from spiritual teachings about the clarification of what we are. We no longer fear our inner phenomena because we can liberate them. Devotion arises from this unshakeable realisation of our ultimate reality of pure consciousness, which is now our lifetime’s duty.

Wisdom destroys confusion.
Light destroys darkness.
Simplicity destroys complexity.
Compassion and devotion destroy the ‘I’.
The dis-illusion of everything brings about
knowingness, confidence, and inner peace.

Disillusion: to realise that a belief we hold is false.

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SPIRIT IS ALWAYS FREE

Spirit Is Always Free

It is pure emptiness itself.
We are empty spirit.

Concepts (karma) that enslave us
are empty of any true reality.
Nothing is real.

Pure spirit is free
in the moment of seeing.
All we do is witness.

“But I want to be better than I am!”
What more do you want?
“All this just isn’t good enough!”
I see.

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BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder”

On a conventional, relative level, this refers to our individual taste, which is formed by our individual understanding and opinion, and will be limited. On an ultimate level, beauty is seen as ‘rightness’. The audience goes wild when a performer does what they do well on a talent show: their performance may not be to the audience’s individual tastes but there is a recognition of rightness of effort, and love.

But it goes deeper than that.

If we drop a heavy weight on to glass, it will break. This will leave an awful mess, but that pattern of mess will have a rightness about it, due to specific causes and conditions. At that moment, the components could do nothing else; that is the rightness of the situation.

We may not like the mess – and even see the above description as a waste of time – and that too will have a rightness about it. Why? As we all have a limited view about whatever we see (we see through a glass darkly), that view we hold also has a rightness about it.

‘Right’ is not meant as the antithesis of wrong – that judgement comes later. ‘Right’ here means that all the elements – the causes and conditions – are present for something to be created or destroyed.

Evil is anything that creates harm, down to the subtlest of levels – a gesture, a look, a word – and is governed by the universal forces of attraction and repulsion (like and dislike). Evil is Dharma in reverse. The purpose of the teachings of the Dharma are to counteract the forces of attraction and repulsion. The evil actions that take place in the world happen precisely because there is nothing outside these forces of attraction and repulsion (like and dislike), and therefore, evil has a rightness about it. To reiterate: ‘rightness’ does not mean something is ‘right’ as opposed to ‘wrong’. Rather, it is in the sense that, if a person does not take care and ignores the ice on the pavement, they will slip over.

There is a beauty in this understanding. One could say that the power of physics cannot be ignored; if you place the correct pressure on something, it will break. In the first instant of seeing, we are mere observers, and the ‘eye of the beholder’ is consciousness (in its ultimate form, pure consciousness).

Conventional beauty is subjective, and limited to collective ideas. Something may appear beautiful, but all phenomena is impermanent, so external beauty isn’t lasting. Authentic beauty lies in the realisation that consciousness is pure and right, and therefore beautiful.

True beauty is in the everlasting. That is pure consciousness, for without that, nothing would be known. The true expression of beauty is caring – love, empathy and compassion – and for this, we need generosity, tolerance, discipline, conscience and concentration. And above all, wisdom. Wisdom is the realisation of the true nature of all minds, and that is emptiness. Pure spirit.

The eye of the beholder witnesses karma, which is the fruition of previous activities. Karma is therefore our teacher. The rightness of karma is beautiful. Recognising this, we are ultimately beautiful – and always have been!

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WHO RULES THE WORLD?

Who Rules The World?

Actually, this is the wrong question. Before we can ask, “Who rules the world?” we must ask, “What rules the world?” All sentient beings – and the entire universe – are governed by attraction and repulsion. Because we are all governed by these forces, we are all rulers!

The stronger these forces are, the more obsessed and desperate we become, and the more power we desire. This isn’t exclusive to corporations and governments: our family, friends, acquaintances, neighbours, and the person sitting on the adjacent meditation cushion, are all governed by attraction and repulsion – in other words, desire and aversion.

What created these two forces that control us all?

It is ignorance or indifference to our true nature – natural, pure, compassionate consciousness. Consenting to be governed by attraction, repulsion and ignorance, we created impure consciousness, which is constantly occupied by self interest.

This self interest is ego clinging. The devil is our own ego, as we project attraction, repulsion and ignorance on to others. Until enlightenment, we will be attacked by these forces. The subtler our practice, the subtler these demonic energies become.

We are free in the moment of seeing.
That is all we have to do.

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THOUGHTS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM

Thoughts Are Not The Problem

Thoughts are not the problem.
The problem is fixating on thoughts;
this fixation can last a lifetime,
creating our persona, our mask, our act.

In being fixated, we prolong a feeling; we hold on to it, we become it. It’s our security line to whomever we think we are, and we are not going to give this up easily, are we?

The point is that thoughts will naturally arise, and we do not have to block them. It’s fixating or obsessing about them that causes us heart ache, and controls our lives. This, in turn, affects others around us. The knock-on effect is that the whole population of planet Earth is hidden behind masks. We all fear being exposed, and this makes it a very tense world. We can’t complain about it because we are part of it; that would be like sitting a traffic jam, complaining that there’s a traffic jam!

We cannot expect the world to change for us. That is not going to happen. It is we who have to change our attitude towards our ideas. As we realise that our thoughts come from the collective, we realise that we are all in the same jam.

If we try to block our thoughts, we will make them seem real. Our thoughts are merely products from our past, and all we have to do is allow them to be, and let them pass, rather than reacting to them. We need space in order to be able to stand back and see – and then recognise whatever is taking place, whether beneficial or harmful. Meditation brings this clarity and, as a result, empathy and compassion.

We don’t have to be ‘us’: we can be whatever the situation demands. In the traffic jam, we do not have to ‘wait’: we can just sit.

Lose the fixation.
Lose the tension.

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WE WILL NEVER FIND REALITY OR TRUTH…

We Will Never Find Reality Or Truth
by thinking about reality or truth

Reality – or truth – is the pure consciousness that is aware of the thinking. Pure consciousness never changes, whereas thinking does. This is not theory; it can be experienced.

Through the experience of just sitting and being aware of awareness (when we stop being attached to our thoughts), we realise that we are nothing other than pure consciousness.

Unfortunately, we spend our precious life being distracted by poetic trinkets, righteousness, mental torments, confusion, depression … and so, we become victims. We cannot change the collective way of thinking, but we no longer have to follow others’ beliefs.

If others’ beliefs were actually free of suffering and distortion, they would be worth consideration, but beliefs are merely someone else’s opinions – or worse (a deception).

In realising pure consciousness – and that which obscures pure consciousness – all questions can be answered.

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IN RIGPA, NOTHING STICKS

In Rigpa, Nothing Sticks

Rigpa is a Tibetan Dzogchen word for naked awareness – pure consciousness. It is the very nature of mind. It is cognisant emptiness. It’s what we are. Thoughts arise in the naked awareness of mind, and they are noted and let be. Naked awareness does not get sticky, clinging to thoughts and governing our lives.

The criticism from ordinary mind (that which holds on to thoughts) is that this approach lacks sensitivity. People immediately say, “Oh, so you do nothing!” In the modern world we are taught to be sensitive and value our feelings, and therefore we can become over-sensitive. This is fuel for ego fixation – for an ‘I’ fixation – and is the breeding ground for hope and fear. We feel the need either to defend our ideas or become hostile, and in our righteousness, we are quick to take offence. Ordinary mind is controlled by the collective ideas that are in fashion at any given moment: this control causes more confusion and is unsettling because it disrupts our natural knowingness.

There may be moment of selflessness – of genuine heroism – but that is only because we don’t have time to think of ourselves in that instant. That spontaneity is rigpa, but as it’s not combined with continuous practice, it is not a stable presence in everyday life.

In rigpa , everything is noted but not grasped. Pure consciousness is clarity and, in clarity, whatever is seen as beneficial is expressed in compassionate activity, and then dropped. It is dropped because we do not want any clutter from a previous moment to influence this moment. We remain in naked awareness. Not sticky awareness! 😀

Of course, as we are not enlightened, we will have a residue of attitude, and a way of dealing with things but, through practice, we refine seeing.

This is what spiritual investigation is all about … refining seeing. In refining seeing, we are liberated into the dynamic expression of compassion. How that is expressed is a matter of personal skill and experience. Maybe we can do nothing but listen; at least listening will not make a situation worse!

Stick at nothing to be free.
😀

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WHAT WOULD BE THE FINAL TEACHING?

What Would Be The Final Teaching?

.

.

Just to clarify:
Sit and realise pure awareness.
Exhaust all fixations on self.

To clarify even further:
Whether we’re listening to someone else
or the thoughts in our own minds,
we no longer struggle with them.
Like the moon reflected in water,
thoughts are a mere reflection in pure awareness.
There is an implied duality but ultimately,
there is just pure awareness.

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WE NEED A SHOCK TO WAKE UP

We Need A Shock To Wake Up

People are devolving rather than evolving.
Humanity is dumbing down.
That is the shock.

We are all suffering and do not recognise it. If we don’t recognise suffering, then we remain in our dream world. Actually, it’s someone else’s dream world: humanity is weakening because it is becoming reliant.

When science discovered DNA – a self-replicating material which is present in all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes that carry genetic information – the fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something was understood, and science learnt to create and recreate.

There is no end to invention, so there is no end to our captivity.

The results of science make life easier, and are useful to us. We don’t realise that brings dependency and has a detrimental effect on the health of both our minds and bodies. The result is that we cannot think straight.

Our reliance on science’s lateral thinking maintains us in vertical thinking. In lateral thinking, there are questions that lead to answers that lead to questions. In vertical thinking, there only are accepted answers.

We need straight thinking – straight perception – rather than fixated thinking. To appearances in the mind, straight thinking asks, “Do I need this?”

We need to understand our own characteristics, and take back control of our lives. To do this, we become spiritual psychologists by sitting quietly in meditation, eyes open within awareness, experiencing both our acquired nature and our true nature at work. This is how we wake up from collective dream.

Now we can think for ourselves. “What is myorigin?” Who stares, wins! 😀

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IS GOD BUDDHIST?

Is God Buddhist?

‘Bud-dha’ means awake and pure.
Buddhism unveils our pure, cognisant, compassionate consciousness.

Sentient beings are sleeping buddhas.
When we awaken
to our true consciousness of pure cognisant compassion,
we realise
our supreme being.

As a lie can be hidden in full view,
so is the truth.

Don’t you just love wisdom?
😀

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ILLUMINATING DARKNESS CAN BE DEPRESSING

Illuminating Darkness Can Be Depressing

When we see clearly what we and others have done and are doing with our lives, it’s bit of a shock. It can also be depressing, as we realise that love is not all around us; wae are surrounded by self-centredness. Now our true work – our evolution – begins.

We cannot change the type of world in which we live; we can only change our view of it. It is here that we need an empathetic attitude – been there, done that, regret that. Compassion is challenging.

Real love or compassion can only come about through understanding the true nature of all sentient beings, and it is for this reason that absolute bodhicitta/altruism comes before relative bodhicitta/altruism.

With relative bodhicitta/altruism, we want to do nice things for others, but there is a significant self-gratification present.

With ultimate bodhicitta/altruism, there is an understanding of the true nature of others, which is empty cognisance, or pure awareness. In that understanding, we allow space for the situation to be seen clearly, and in that clarity, we are free of any self-gratification. That’s all that is needed.

The illuminating of darkness is depressing and sad.
And that, is the real cause of love.
We no longer see through a glass darkly.

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ANTIDOTE: A TEMPORARY SPIRITUAL MEDICINE

Antidote: A Temporary Spiritual Medicine

 An antidote is something that counteracts an unpleasant feeling,
as in ‘laughter is a good antidote to stress’.

But this does not get rid of the cause of the stress.

Chanting, singing, praying out loud does relieve stress, but this is only a temporary measure as we need to come back for more. We like it, we become dependent on it, we are addicted to it.

As with the previous article, “Quietism”, the inner realisation of pure consciousness cuts through emotions as soon as they are recognised. We are free in the moment of seeing. We don’t have to shout “Alleluia!” or “E Ma Ho!”

If we are not told – or do not recognise – that we are free in the moment of seeing, we will remain dependent upon others.

Of course, there are moments where the emotions do explode, and that is when we need anything that works to bring an end to this karmic outburst: I splatter my mind with extremely fast, inner chants of “Om mani peme hum” to drown out my mind worms, and then drop.

Thinking that we are doing something when we apply an antidote feels good. That’s fine, but temporary: chanting, singing, praying out loud may feel euphoric, but has no stability. Realising pure consciousness feels neither good nor indifferently neutral; we just remain open as we no longer need the dopamine fix of an antidote.

Peace begins when expectation ends.

Antidotes lead to anecdotes:
short amusing or interesting stories we can talk about.

In the realisation of silence,
there is nothing to discuss.
We, merely rest in inner peace.

If a thousand Buddhas then said, “You are wrong”,
we remain unmoved.

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QUIETISM

Quietism

“What is Quietism?”
It is a level above Noise-ism.

Quietism teaches that spiritual peace, and even perfection, can be achieved through quiet, inner contemplation. The practitioner of quietism seeks to subdue desire and become totally passive, spiritually.

This is the opposite of singing and praying out loud.

In quietism, one can achieve a ‘sinless state’ by inward contemplation, ridding the soul (mind) of all troubling desires. The aim of quietism is union with God, a state of pure consciousness.

The Eastern Orthodox Church suggested, “The supreme aim of life on earth is the contemplation of the uncreated light whereby man is intimately united with God”.

A state of imperturbable serenity was seen as a desirable state of mind by philosophers such as Epicurus, Pyrrhonian, and the Stoic school, and also by their Roman followers, such as the emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Quietism was mysticism within the Roman Catholic Church during the late 1600s. The Cathars’ denial of the need for sacerdotal rites has been perceived as a form of quietism. The founder of the Quaker movement, George Fox, recognised that spirituality is achieved by paying attention to the Holy Spirit – the godhead – through silence.

In these ways, Quietism resembles Buddhism.

There is a natural, silent stillness within us all;
it’s what we are … after all!

Distracting this natural, silent stillness within us all
is an unnecessary antidote.

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LIVING IN A BRAINWASHED WORLD

Living In A Brainwashed World
(by consent)

To wake up to reality, we first have to clear our minds of all the opinions and fixed ideas that we have collected and hold on to. We must acknowledge that these ideas are not our own; we took possession of them from the collective consciousness. The question is, “Who put these ideas into the playground?”

There are those who have conspired against society to manipulate humanity. The weapon of confusion controls the masses, and this starts at an early age.

There has been conscious and intelligent manipulation of our habits and opinions. Our minds have been moulded, our tastes formed, and our ideas suggested, largely by those we have never heard of who pull the strings of the public mind. For millennia, people have been made to believe what they have been told. Each generation has its architects, who act both consciously and unconsciously.

Edward L. Bernays,  Sigmund Freud’s nephew and the founder of the public relations industry in the US, used public relations techniques as a way for corporations to mould the mind of the masses in a desired direction. What do you think advertising, news and propaganda are all about? Make something freely available and people are hooked: through laziness, we consent to let others think for us.

Bernays defined ‘engineering consent’ as the art of manipulating people. He maintained that “entire populations, which were undisciplined and lacking in intellectual or definite moral principles, were vulnerable to unconscious influence and thus susceptible to wanting things that they do not need. This is achieved by manipulating desires on an unconscious level. The central idea behind the engineering of consent is that the public should not be aware of the manipulation taking place.”

A secret agenda depends on people NOT being able to think critically. They may joke, react and argue, but this is all still part of an agenda. Thinking critically means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well thought out. One doesn’t simply accept -without questioning – all arguments and conclusions to which one is exposed. This requires curiosity, scepticism and humility. People who use critical thinking are the ones who say, “How do you know that?”

Josef Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment for the Nazi party, wrote:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”


Consent to wake up to realising that you are already awake.
However cluttered our mind seems to be, pure awareness is still present.
This is why there is so much created to distract us.

Sitting in still silence,
we can see all this going on.

To test whether all the rice is cooked,
we merely have to taste one grain.

Consent not to be ‘cooked’
😀

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THE LAMP THAT DISPELS DARKNESS

The Lamp That Dispels Darkness

Dispelling Spells
Dispel: to make disappear
Spell: a state of enchantment

This is a synopsis of the precious teaching,“The Lamp That Dispels Darkness”, write in 1906 by Mipham Rinpoche. This teaching is for those who do not wish to exert themselves 😀 All that needs to be remembered is not to forget.

The lamp is the light of wisdom of emptiness that dispels the darkness obscuring the realisation of the light of wisdom. Before we can realise the nature of this light, we have to recognise what darkness is.

The enchanted darkness we all experience is our mind being engaged or vacant, and thus enchanted. We are usually in a state of vacancy – like a cow staring into space – as we are not aware of awareness.

Being aware of awareness is the lamp of potentialwisdom: it isn’t lit yet because we are still living in a duality. ‘I’ am ‘aware’. It is when this ‘I’ looks into that which is aware that we find nothing but awareness. All reasoning drops away. It is empty of speculations and beyond description. The very moment that emptiness is realised, that is the light. That is the clarity in the darkness. That is the life essence of what we are – empty clarity beyond description. The mind is neither engaged nor vacant; there is just empty awareness.

There is nothing to do but recognise and realise this fact, beyond belief. That isn’t any hardship, is it?

Whether our situation is smooth or rough, empty clarity is always present. This is the most profound secret that is no longer a secret. If this is the ultimate teaching, what on earth is going on all around us? The answer is obvious: people are unaware of the nature of awareness.

It is indifference that has obscured the light of wisdom. It is the recognition of the darkness of indifference that dispels the darkness. All the town yogi has to do now is remember, and not be distracted by the illusions of enchanted spells.

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LACK CERTAINTY, LACK IMPACT

Lack Certainty, Lack Impact

If we lack certainty about what we understand, we will lack the impact needed to achieve and realise our objective. Uncertainty leads to a lack of inner peace. Of course, certainty has many levels so, conventionally, we cannot say, “This is it!” but a firm stepping stone of certainty gives us a strong foundation for the next step. We need certainty to ‘boldly go’, to complete our efforts; then we can be ready for the next stage in our lives.

From the ultimate level, there is only one certainty,
and that is that we are pure consciousness,
embroiled and confused in a human form.

We need certainty in our uncertainty in order to jump off our present step, and into emptiness. It is ego fixation – an ‘I’ fixation – that holds us back from jumping: the Greek word for ‘I’ is ‘ego’.

If we cover up our uncertainty with bravado*, we merely obscure the feeling of weakness that we believe we must protect, and so we remain a projection, a mouth piece, instead of an expression of pure consciousness.

For years I wondered about the demonic forces in the world. How do they work?

The feeling of weakness creates a need to appear strong, to show bravado. Being ignorant of their true nature, beings are governed by the samsaric principles of desire and aversion, and they use these principles to ensnare others. Evil is Dharma in reverse.

Of course, this evil has a huge impact in the conventional world, but it is self defeating because the instigators will never find inner peace. They spend their whole lives calculating and propping up the lack of certainty that they have about their true reality.

There are three basic principles of the entire universe: the universal DNA. These principles – desire (attraction) aversion (repulsion) and ignorance (inertia) – are the demonic forces that control all sentient beings. To the enlightened, however, they are wisdoms.

What a crazy world we live in!
Gain certainty by turning everything on its head.
You are what you seek.

*Bravado: a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate.

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STOP BELIEVING IN GOD TO KNOW GOD

Stop Believing In God To Know God

Our highest part is
pure consciousness, absolute consciousness, ultimate consciousness,
God consciousness.

Hebrews 13:5
God said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

Apart from not knowing who said God said this, could this statement be more practical?

As long as we believe there is a God ‘out there’, we will never realise that the truth is already within us all, and therefore we no longer have to believe. As long as we believe, we will never know. Why would anyone want us to believe rather than know?

Now read:
“ Never will pure consciousness leave you;
never will pure consciousness forsake you.”

For anything to be known, there first has to be a knowing, an awareness, a consciousness. It is consciousness that will never leave you, because you are consciousness. In its pure state, consciousness is just pure consciousness. It’s what, in essence, we are.

Our fate is in our own hands: either we stay in ignorance or we awaken to our enlightened nature. We always had a choice, but maybe it was kept from us.

Which makes more sense?

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POSITIVE DISSATISFACTION

Positive Dissatisfaction

Dissatisfaction is being no longer content or happy with something.

When evolving – rather than just looking for a change –
positive dissatisfaction is our stepping stone to the next level.

The level we are at is not wrong;
it has just worn itself out.

We find we cannot go back
to a previous way of thinking.

When karma is being undone, whatever we did previously no longer satisfies.

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WHAT IS MEDITATION, REALLY?

What Is Meditation, Really?

Meditation is the direct recognition of the nature of mind,
and whatever obscures it.
And that which obscures it can the method of meditation itself!
In the moment of recognition,
there is no meditation.

So, if we keep meditating,
we obscure our reality.

Meditation methods simply lead to being aware of awareness, and whatever obscures that awareness. While we are ‘meditating’, we are doing something. When we finally realise the nature of mind – our essence which is beyond the meditation – we realise that we are this mind essence, free of contamination. That is pure consciousness itself, where there is nothing to do. This is self realisation: realisation arises by itself.

But aren’t we supposed to keep watching the breath?

Watching the breath focuses the mind as a tool of mindfulness. We can spent our life doing mindfulness meditation and still not realise our true nature of pure consciousness … but we become pretty good at watching the breath!

It is not a matter of stopping thoughts. When we sit still, thoughts and impressions constantly bubble away; this is merely our memories, stirring. If we relate to this bubbling, these bubbles turn into thoughts and we are gone … off with the fairies. We live in this way, relating to everything, and it is for this reason that our conventional world is called ‘relative’ reality where we live in memories – a virtual reality – bringing our samsaric world into our meditation; by following our thoughts, we give them a seeming reality.

Realising and staying in pure consciousness is absolute truth. It is the origin of ‘absolute’ reality.

In reality, in pure awareness, we do nothing.
The programmed mind makes the body talk and walk,
while pure consciousness witnesses.

We still play our part
but it’s our past that has written the script:
in seeing that, we can rewrite, until we complete the play.

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THE NEXT STEP

The Next Step

Read
“Starting From The Beginning”:
the teaching is all about the beginning.
We doubt, so more text was created.

Remember,
“Beginner mind, Zen mind.”

The very recognition that we are dissatisfied
is the meaning of the unity of relative and ultimate truth,
and the path to enlightenment.

Constantly recognising a disturbance in empty cognisance
takes us through the levels,
refining and refining.

The clue is in the statement:
“The very recognition that we are dissatisfied.”

There is a recognition. There is a we. There is a dissatisfaction.

That which recognises is consciousness.
That which we call ‘we’ is a contrived identification with consciousness.
That which is dissatisfied is consciousness that does not recognise
its true nature of empty cognisance.

“We are liberated in the moment of seeing.”

When, through meditation, consciousness recognises
that it is pure, uncontaminated, empty cognisance,
the idea of ‘we’ is liberated.

Rather than “I am seeing”,
there is merely seeing.

In the very moment now, there is no I.
An I is created a milli-moment later, and confuses itself.
This happens so quickly that we don’t notice it
and so we live in ignorance of our true nature.

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STARTING FROM THE BEGINNING

Starting From The Beginning

We ask ourselves, “What’s it all about?”
What is ‘it’ ?
Is ‘it’ the world, or our life?

If we are asking these questions, it means that we are questioning the collective consciousness, the collective karma, the collective thoughts about life. The ‘collective’ may be our world, our country, our area, our family, but it’s all in our own mind. Karma is whatever we consented to hold on to in our minds; the ideas, concepts, feelings, the way we see things. Unfortunately, those ideas in our mind are not our own, as they belong to the collective.

The collective ideas have no reality.
It’s all make believe.
We’ve merely adopted a way of life.

For some, clinging to the collective is fine. It’s safe, it’s home. For others, it’s just plain bonkers … it’s competitive, argumentative, dissatisfying, depressing and delusional.

We have to be honest,
if we want to see clearly.

So we look for an answer to the questions of “Why am I suffering?” and “What is the cause of this suffering?” and “Is there an answer?” and “What do I do about it?”

We are now ready for the answer,
because the answers we have had so far
do not make sense.

These are timeless questions of which all sentient beings are aware. Most just fit in, living a while and then dying, never feeling fulfilled, but just existing.

Is there an answer to life, the universe and everything?
Yes, there is – and it’s right before us … get it? It’s right before … us. Right before … me. 😀

So let’s have a good look, rather than believing anything.
To start, we have to drop everything we have been told.

Believe nothing
and see for yourself.

Your own seeing is your teacher.

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BODHICITTA, PARAMITAS, OM MANI PEME HUM …

Bodhicitta, Paramitas, Om mani peme hum …
… all mean the same thing.

Bodhicitta, the paramitas, om mani peme hum are all the six perfections:
generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration, and wisdom

There is:
Relative and ultimate bodhicitta.
Relative and ultimate paramitas.
Relative and ultimate om mani peme hum.

Terminology can either liberate or imprison us.

It is all about understanding the sixth perfection of wisdom – emptiness.
Emptiness is the clarity of consciousness.
Some traditions start with the five perfections,
and others start with the sixth.

Depending on which tradition we follow,
the five perfections are reflected in one,
or one perfection is reflected in the five.

IT IS NOT AS COMPLICATED AS IT SOUNDS!
😀

In the ordinary run of life, generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration and wisdom are regarded as helping us to be decent and effective human beings, aren’t they? When we apply these to dealing with other people, they are altruism – a selfless concern for the wellbeing of others. It’s love.

All well and good. This is relative bodhicitta, because it deals with the relative world of me and other. Relative bodhicitta is the application of the five perfections (generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration), gradually leading to the sixth of wisdom, transcendent wisdom. It is hoped that wisdom becomes realised as emptiness – our essential true nature – the clarity of consciousness.

Paths such as Dzogchen start with the sixth perfection – ultimate bodhicitta of wisdom/emptiness – and the five perfections (generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration) are naturally expressed as the continuity of that wisdom in daily conduct. But now bodhicitta and the paramitas change, because of the realisation of wisdom/emptiness, the clarity of consciousness.

With ultimate bodhicitta, there is nothing to hold on to and no expectations, so generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance and meditation/concentration are effortless as there is no ‘me’: these qualities are a continuity of wisdom/emptiness, the clarity of consciousness … and unconditional love.

So bodhicitta, the paramitas, om mani peme hum are all about love.
Wasn’t complicated, was it? 🙂

Spiritual terminology can give you spiritual indigestion.
True love is easy to digest.

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THE DRAGON’S ROAR

The Dragon’s Roar

The reason we turn to spiritual psychology for answers is that we desirea better life than this materialistic way of living. This desire can have one of two aspects: we either desire to know more and be happier, or we cannot stand by and see the suffering of others in the world.

Wanting a happier life – one with joy and love – and to understand the nature of mind is, of course, an excellent ideal. This is the path of desire.

The other path has the fury of a dragon’s roar, full of horror at what is happening to people. This is the path of aversion.

The path of desire is one of “All is well”. From an absolute perspective, all is well, but that is a personal realisation which does not relate to others.

The path of aversion is constant recognition that things are not right. All is not well. This makes the inner dragon roar because of the suffering that beings experience, enveloped in dark ignorance in the dungeon of existence. The dragon’s fire is knowledge light rays, fully dispelling the dark ignorance of the mind.

We need a balance of both.
But what do you think first stirred the Buddha?

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MEDITATION DOESN’T MAKE US OBLIVIOUS

Meditation Doesn’t Make Us Oblivious
Meditation is being aware all the time.

Some people believe that meditation means being oblivious – being unaware of what is going on around them. Maybe there are traditions were one becomes totally absorbed, but that isn’t Dharma.

Real Dharma is daily life. Meditation is the practice of the stillness of consciousness within emptiness: this manifests as compassion, where we care about everything we do and say.This is meditation reflected in our conduct in daily life, so the Dharma is practical. If we rely just on theory, change will not occur.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche said:
“Our conventional thought patterns
increase bondage to samsara,
and
aid liberation from samsara.”

That sounds like a wild, crazy statement, but it ‘s true. Samsara is the Sanskrit word for the vicious cycle of human existence in which we currently live. We seek happiness in temporary phenomena and this search for happiness is transient in that whatever we seek is impermanent, and so we go up and down. One could say that samara is our expectations that are never fulfilled.

But desire is also very precise and discerning, and is therefore a wisdom. The very recognition of samsaric phenomena in emptiness is the liberation we seek.

‘One-taste’ is remaining balanced.

Our view is not a matter of becoming oblivious to the difference between rough and smooth: we don’t become comfortably numb. It’s more that, although we have tactile consciousness and a mind to interpret that, we don’t merely react. We have equal taste due to pure perception.

There is no need to eliminate or reject the object that produces that sensory experience. The object itself is innocent; it is our reactions that are the problem. If we can’t remain balanced, we will make things worse for ourselves.

We can carry sensory pleasure on the path, without abandoning it. This doesn’t mean grabbing every experience in an excuse for indulgence: if we have a pleasant sensation, and can’t separate that from the contriving mind which is grasping at it, we will become more and more involved.

Recognise that the sensation is pleasant or unpleasant before letting the mind grasp. Understand the nature of what is going on; only then is there no problem with having the experience.

In the state of one taste, how is it possible to generate compassion?

Compassion is based on our ability to understand the pleasure and pain that others experience: those distinctions are the basis for understanding compassion.

Compassion is not being oblivious to others’ suffering. What we do about that suffering is up to our individual skill. Even though we may not be well educated, we still have a good heart – an open heart and an open mind.

Meditation is being aware all the time,
so that compassion is aware all the time.

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SPIRITUAL PATHS SHOULD HEAL OUR PSYCHOLOGICAL NEUROSES…

Spiritual Paths Should Heal Our Psychological Neuroses…
…rather then cover them up

Spirituality is the practical study of our psychological make up and beyond, to undo our neuroses rather than creating more.

The essence of any teaching – rather than the fixations on the paraphernalia – is the only thing that is important.

Spiritual awakening is justabout seeing: I seethat I am an idiot. How wonderful!

It does not matter that this primitive mind lacks education and sophistication, pure consciousness sees it all, now.

If we become so concerned about being a polished object to be admired, we will only delay genuine realisation.

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FINDING THE BUDDHA IN THE MUD PART 1

Finding The Buddha In The Mud
Part 1

Before we start a journey,
we have to know where we are going,
and why we’re going there.

This is especially true with our spiritual journey – the journey within consciousness – otherwise we could spend a precious lifetime in speculation, belief and elaborate rituals.

The mud is our confusion which is obscuring the clarity of consciousness; our spiritual path is therefore clearing away our own confusions and fixations.

In reality, our confusion never existed and so, our path doesn’t exist. We are what we have been looking for, from beginningless time; there is no journey.

There is a seeming path,
and a seeming me that seemingly traverses the seeming path
to seeming enlightenment.

In the idea of a path, there is a suggestion of an end to that path.
In reality, the end is merely an end to confusion
and thus, an end to suffering.

Pure consciousness has always been within the mud.
We have been at the end from the beginning!
We have never been without Buddha nature, which is pure consciousness.

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FINDING THE BUDDHA IN THE MUD PART 2

Finding The Buddha In The Mud
Part 2

The uniqueness of Dzogchen (the Tibetan word for pure awareness/pure consciousness) is the realisation of the goal without a journey. It’s not the only system: there is a plethora of spiritual traditions out there. Some get to the point directly, while others are vague and mysterious, and rely on the teacher’s favour.

Dzogchen tells us directly what the teacher is – the clarity of consciousness reflected in all phenomena. It is easy to see a speck within the clarity of emptiness. The seeing and the phenomena (the speck) are simultaneous. We are free in the moment of seeing. The speck and the clarity are a unity. Thoughts are emptiness. Emotions are wisdoms.

There two truths; the relative truth and the ultimate truth are inseparable. The seemingly real and the real are one, like a mirror and its reflection. Pure consciousness is aware of something arising within it. This is the point of division, where either wisdom or ignorance arise, and thus the secret life of the emotions is revealed.

On the path of the seemingly real, emotions imprison us.
On the path of the real, emotions liberate us.
How?
It’s all in the first instant of seeing.
That seeing is Buddha nature, which is pure consciousness.

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FINDING THE BUDDHA IN THE MUD PART3

Finding The Buddha In The Mud
Part 3

There are many spiritual paths offering vertical approaches to spirituality, where we do this and then this, and we get this – if we are lucky. The ‘lateral’ approach to spirituality is a matter of starting at the origin by asking what is obscuring this. We get to the heart of the matter by being introduced to the nature of mind through the direct pointing-out instruction.

First, we need a little warm up. We must see the mind at work: our goal and our path and our realisation are right here, right now. There is nothing to believe in, but just to see. Right here, right now is Buddha nature, which is pure consciousness.

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FINDING THE BUDDHA IN THE MUD PART 4

Finding The Buddha In The Mud
Part 4

Ordinary words convey conventional meanings, but those very same words can also have an extraordinary meaning. This extraordinary meaning cuts through the neurolinguistics we have adopted (neurolinguistics is the study of the neural mechanisms in the human brain that control the comprehension and reactions which govern our existence). Our understanding of extraordinary meanings to ordinary words will open the door to enlightenment.

We are neither what we think nor what we have been led to believe. Absolute reality is simple – extremely simple – and that is where the importance of practical meditation lies. Absolute reality is the seeing itself: we are free in the moment of seeing.

We have become so clever at being distracted by our creations that our cleverness obscures seeing. The purpose of meditation is seeing. Being aware. Being conscious.

When we use words merely as a nattering of parrots, ignorance will be our sentence.
Pure consciousness is beyond the charm of neurolinguistics.

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HOW DO WE VALUE TRUTH?

How Do We Value Truth?

Even though we may recognise and acknowledge that ultimate truth is pure consciousness, it’s sometimes difficult to appreciate something so ordinary – ordinary in the sense of not being anything, without characteristics, just clear. Being clear doesn’t mean we have no karma. Our karmic programming – our narrow mindedness – is recognised. Karma is the guide to our undoing! 😀

If we live in a culture that doesn’t value the reality of pure consciousness, it can make us wonder whether we are dreaming or not. It’s like gold: if we hold a lump of gold in our hand, it’s just a shiny metal, whereas if those around us value it, gold becomes precious (although it’s still a lump of shiny metal).

How do we value truth? We may find that the forces of the materialistic world aren’t so shiny and attractive any more. We observe the collective, and note how differently we see life now: by observing how so many are caught up in this and that, we remember how we too were trapped, and we value no longer being so.

Valuing pure consciousness is valuing the moment now; valuing whatever arises in that clarity. Whatever arises is karmically produced, and so it is our teacher. Value karma, for within that karma is our hidden talent.

Our hidden talent is the ability to express pure consciousness in everything we do and say.
We all have this talent. It’s called love.

From the Gospel of St Thomas, found in Nag Hamadi in 1945:
“The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you;
not in a mansion of wood and stone.
Split a piece of wood and I am there.
Lift a stone and you will find me.”

There is truth everywhere.
Truth is in the seeing.

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KARMA IS OUR UNDOING!

Karma Is Our Undoing!

Karma is our fixations about whatever we think we are.

It creates our moods,
where we are comfortably numb to our – and others’ – reality.

Noticing this illusion cuts through all that crap.
Acknowledging that crap, we avoid falling into more crap.
This is how we transcend the levels of consciousness.

Karma is a residue from our past.
It teaches us about our reactions in this present moment.

If we stop reacting, the past is released = undone!

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GOD WILL COME

God Will Come

We will ultimate find God
when we stop looking, and see.

Silence is an eloquent teaching.
In that, we ultimately find God.

In silence, God comes.
Words obscure.

God is absolute consciousness,
which is pure consciousness.

But who are you, and who is God?
Same, same.

All we have to do is
shut up.

This is why I no longer believe in God!

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BIG BANG OR BIG GOD?

Big Bang or Big God?
Neither!

In an infinite universe of infinite space, how could one big bang suddenly decide to happen without a cause? If there was a cause, then there was something present before. Likewise, why did a God suddenly decide at a moment in infinite space and time to create one inhabitable planet?

Big bang and God have something in common: they are both said to have come out of nothing, and that is impossible. The universe is an infinite, continuous chain reaction. Every thing comes about due to causes and conditions.

There are infinite big bangs and infinite gods in an infinite universe.
If there is neither one Big Bang nor one God, what is it all about?

Big Bang or God?
Both!

From a Buddhist perspective, the big bang is the Eureka! moment: it is the realisation of the nature of consciousness. The moment when we wake up and see. That wakefulness is God. It’s all internal. It has always been internal. When Tulku Ugyen said, “We are free in the moment of seeing”, he meant that that was the moment of pure consciousness.

What is Love?

In realising the true nature of mind – pure consciousness – we realise that this is the very same nature of all sentient beings. Sadness arises because they are unaware of their true nature. That sadness is love. In infinite space, there are infinite beings, all with the potential of infinite love.

We could call that love which is within everyone, ‘God’ or ‘supreme consciousness’ – or empathetic love. The juice of life.

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MIND-FULL OF EMPTINESS

Mind-Full of Emptiness

This is the path to enlightenment: the complete picture.

There are two aspects to complete enlightenment: one is consciousness-awareness and the other is its purity of emptiness.

There are also two ways of coming to this realisation. We can start either with mindfulness (which is our conduct) that leads to the clarity of emptiness, or we can start with the clarity of emptiness, and use mindfulness as our conduct. It may not sound like it, but these are two different approaches.

If we start with mindfulness, we are creating the right circumstances for realising the wisdom of the clarity of emptiness.

If we start with the clarity of emptiness, we are mindful of that realisation which is expressed through our conduct, in everything we do.

So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is … the five paramitas, the five perfections: generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration.

There is a sixth perfection which is transcendent wisdom = the empty clarity of consciousness.

This is how we address (deal with) our karma, our programming.
It is also how we undress (eliminate) our karma, our programming.

Once we realise – through experience – that we can only be pure consciousness, we may be left with a feeling of, “Shouldn’t life be better now?” and “Am I enlightened?” When we realise that we are not enlightened on the ultimate level, we may feel incredibly disappointed – but this is only part of our journey.

The actual path to enlightenment is the application of the six perfections (paramitas). “Oh, I’ve heard of them; they’re in the ordinary refuge prayer, but I want the secretteachings!” If we think like this (and it’s perfectly understandable), we have missed a vital – and very helpful – instruction.

The ordinary refuge prayer:
“I go for refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
By the merit of practising the paramitas,
May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings.”

Really and truly, that is the path. These six perfections – generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation and transcendent wisdom – are what we apply to all situation. All situations that arise are due to our karma; karma is the result of previous action that controls our reactions. It’s our personal programming, and it’s pre-written by us. The six perfections are a method to clean up karma. Karma cleaning = formatting our programming.

Much depends on the way in which we work:
We can start with the first five perfections (paramitas) to make us decent human beings, thus preparing us for the sixth perfection of wisdom, which is the realisation of pure consciousness/pure awareness. However,everyonewho wants to be a good and decent person applies generosity, discipline, patience, perseverance, concentration.

It is only when wisdom is present that the perfections become powerful, automatic and transcendent.

The pointing-out instruction is the golden roof, but we also need mindfulness as an expression of right conduct to support that golden roof.

If we build the foundations first,
we won’t know how high we have to go before we can construct our roof:
that could take a long time.

If, however, we start with the roof – the fruition –
we will find that the foundations to support that roof
are no different from the roof itself.

Our path is our confusion about how high that roof has to go.
In reality, there is no separation between roof and ground.

Even though we receive teachings, we are still left with our heap of karmic programming. We may not like it. We may not like ourselves. We may think life is pointless. It is here that we advocate or rely on the six perfections, to first be kind to ourselves and then to others. Incidentally, the six perfections are encapsulated in the mantra of compassion, OM MANI PEME HUM. We either chant the mantra for years and hope we will be compassionate, or we understand the meaning of those words and apply them, giving up the wishful thinking.

Compassion is the combination of practising the six perfections of generosity, conscience, patience, perseverance, meditation and transcendent wisdom for the benefit of all beings who are suffering in the six psychological realms (hell, hungry ghosts, animal, human, jealous god and god realms).

The result of mind-full of emptiness is love.
Genuine compassion for all.

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WE ARE ALL UNIQUE

We Are All Unique

We may all be pure consciousness, but we are all wired differently (due to karma) and so, we express differently. Even though we may be pure consciousness, we don’t all co-mingle into one huge mass (although maybe the Buddha, Christ, Krishna and other enlightened beings sit and smile together as there’s nothing to talk about … who knows. 🙂

As humans here on Earth, we have a unique expression: this may manifest in a frozen way or a fresh, juicy way. Our pattern of behaviour fixes us into a personality, and we cling to that for safety. But it’s not safe – it’s vulnerable and defensive, isn’t it? However, with the realisation of our pure nature of uncontaminated consciousness, the expression that manifests will be truly unique, and will work for the benefit of others, whereas the old brain was self-centred.

With this realisation, we may find that we are not so clingy, uptight and depressed, and we don’t have such high expectations. Now, we are freer to engage in activities because we drop them on completion in order to deal with the next appearance that occurs in the mind. When we walk, we look at the next step, rather than holding on to the one we’ve just completed. That’s how we progress, and that’s how we deplete karma.

Our expression of love changes.

Our emotions may become bigger …
and brighter …
and wiser …
and empathetic …
and compassionate …
and sad …
never lonely …
so much to care about …
My list can be summed up in one word: sadness.
My sadness was with a heavy heart, but now it’s not.

Your list will be different; your wiring will be different.
Who care wins!

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SEEING THE TEACHER AS THE BUDDHA

Seeing The Teacher As The Buddha …

…is a cultural hot potato!
It depends our aptitude: Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga or Jnana yoga?

Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion – adore the guru.
Karma yoga is the path of action – adore the ritual.
Jnana Yoga is the path of wisdom – adore pure consciousness.

Each path has a combination of all three, but one will be dominant.

The Buddha told his followers:“After I am gone, do not think you will have no teacher; the Dharma will be your teacher.”

Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist teachings could be said to be leaning towards Guru Yoga/Bhakti yoga, where the teacher/lama is seen as the Buddha. If the lama says jump off the roof, you jump. However, we do need to keep our common sense, and be aware of so-called ‘crazy wisdom’ stories. Crazy wisdom stories are meant to bring clarity rather than speculation. The Dalai Lama said, “It is the student who gives the teacher the authority.”

The Four Reliances
(and there are many variations of this)

Rely not on the person; rely on the teaching.
Rely not on the words; rely on the meaning.
Rely not on what’s cryptic: rely on what’s proven.
Rely not on consciousness; rely on pure consciousness.

In reflecting the emptiness of phenomena and consciousness, all phenomena is our teacher: all phenomena is therefore the Buddha. And that very recognition is the Buddha. That is the emptiness of both phenomena and self.

When we think a person knows something that we do not,
we have to stand under that person.

If that person passes on the light,
we then have the light
and we understand.

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RENUNCIATION

Renunciation

Renunciation: the formal rejection of something,
typically a belief, claim, or course of action.

There comes a time when we know that we know. We know we are efficient, and that makes us happy. We know how to guard ourselves against troubling people. We know what to digest and what not to digest – in both food and what others say.

We are good, human beings, and we know it. So far so good.

It is here where we need to be cautious and guard against our own abilities and – dare I say it – righteousness and arrogance. We are starting to hold on to the subtleness of being. Spiritual knowledge can turn good karma into bad karma quite easily.

This is when we consider humility – the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance. Humility is not subservient: it has a indestructible, diamond quality about it, brought about by the formal dropping of ideas about how good we are and what we think we know.

We might have those good qualities, but our efficiency may start to trouble us, leaving a lingering residue: a clean clear break is needed.

This moment is true advancement, but it could appear disconcerting for those who aren’t ready. We go back to square one, and let others claim what they want to claim. We no longer claim anything. A situation arises and we deal with it and let go. If it comes back, we deal with it and let go …

Renunciation is wisdom
because renunciation brings true, inner peace.
We stop chasing, trying to impress.

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THE POWER OF EMPTINESS

The Power Of Emptiness

It is in the power of the realisation of emptiness that the dualistic patterns of consciousness cease to be able to function.

Without the realisation of emptiness, consciousness will continue to express itself, but in a frozen way, a dualistic way.

With realisation of the clarity of emptiness, no residue is left: everything that arises in the mind is liberated, without any attachment.

The substitute for emptiness is ego – the sense of I – where an automatic programming comes into play at every moment, controlled by dualistic reactions that have been stored in our memory.

Without the realisation of emptiness, there can be no freedom, because dualism means that the mind is focusing on ‘something else’ to which it reacts, creating further karmic memories which imprison us and limit our experience.

With the realisation of emptiness, karma can’t be reinforced because, in order for karma to be created, there needs to have been a reaction.

Karma is our programming: it is something pre-written. When we do not merely react, our karmic load is emptying. We still have memories, but now they do not govern or control us.

Can you see the danger in this knowledge?

The enlightened will see this as the path to freedom.
The endarkened will see this as the path to denying freedom to others
by overloading their minds so that they remain imprisoned.

Do you think that is possible?
Sitting on the wall is not an option.

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I MET THE DEVIL LAST NIGHT

I Met The Devil Last Night
… and the devil’s name was bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy creates the word.
The word becomes interpreted.
Interpretation creates chaos.
The devil laughs at this chaos,
as we become part of his order.
Order out of chaos.

The antidote:
The word is never the truth.
The truth is that which experiences the word.
Interpreters are part of the bureaucracy.
Take nobody’s word for it; use common sense.

Common sense is common to all.
Common sense is pure consciousness,

Bureaucracy”: excessively complicated administrative procedure.

Organisations adhere to procedures and rituals. This binds us all: the word ‘religion’ means to bind.

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LED TO BELIEVE

Led To Believe

Led to believe
… and we believe

How’s that for a magic trick?
How’s that for neurolinguistic programming?!

Demonic activity:
And for my next trick,
you will believe that your beliefs
are your own ideas”.

Belief:
an acceptance that something exists or is true, without proof.

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‘I’ AND EGO

‘I’ and Ego

These are not separate entities.
The word ‘I’ comes from the Greek ‘ego’.
Ego is a self-identification to which consciousness clings.

A lie must have an element of truth in it to be believed.
We are led to believe in our self-identity.

The truth is pure consciousness,
but consciousness became trapped into believing in a self-identity:
it lost its freedom,
and forgot its true nature of being pure consciousness.

We keep wandering off!

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TOGAL IS AS NATURAL AS WE CAN BE

Togal Is As Natural As We Can Be

What is Togal?

First, we are introduced to the essence of mind, which is emptiness.
Then, we are introduced to cutting through thoughts arising in emptiness.
Finally, the qualities of the view naturally express themselves from emptiness.

Er … so where is Togal?
Oh, you missed it?

Its qualities are reflective, complete, impartial, sapient and infinite.
These are our innate qualities
that naturally arise when obscurations recede.

Er … where is Togal? What about the visions?
Oh, you still missed it?!

For ‘vision’ read,
‘way of seeing’.

.

.

.

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IF PHENOMENA WERE REAL

If Phenomena Were Real

It takes time to get one’s head around this!

If all phenomena were real,
then phenomena would be permanent, andnever change.
Everything would be frozen.

If phenomena changes,
then phenomena has no permanent reality
and so,
all of creation is an illusion.
Why would anyone create an illusion?

It takes time to get one’s head around this,
as it is significant in teaching us what, in fact, reality is.

We act as if everything is real, important, and everlasting.
We become attached,
and then upset when that phenomena is taken away,
or proven to be an illusion.

We value love, don’t we?
But is that love or is that clinging desire?
Is it more for our benefit
than for the benefit of another?

True love does not cling.
True love is detached
because it wants nothing in return.
Love isn’t 50/50; it’s 100%

True love is only in the moment now, and does not linger.
If it lingers, it turns into emotions and suffering – and even hatred.
All this because we think things are real!

In truth, reality is that which sees, recognises and realises
the reality within us all,
and that is the timeless reality of pure consciousness.

Love is carefree.
It is dropped at every moment
for the next moment of love to be fresh, without residue.

That’s the real thing!

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TURNING CONCEPTS ON THEIR HEAD

Turning Concepts On Their Head

From the ordinary, relative point of view,
the enlightened attitude is extraordinary.

From the enlightened point of view,
the relative attitude is extraordinary.

From the enlightened point of view
enlightened view is being ordinary.

From the ordinary, relative point of view,
the ordinary, relative point of view is extraordinary.

From the enlightened point of view,
all phenomena and self are empty of true reality.

From the ordinary, relative point of view,
all phenomena and self are solid, and to be played with.

If we keep picking at it, it will never get better.
When we leave it alone, it gets better.
When healed,
the ‘wound’ is seen as never having existed.

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WHAT IS THIS EVIL IN OUR WORLD?

What Is This Evil In Our World?

What is this evil in our world?
It’s us!
What is this goodness in our world?
It’s us!

We have two potentials: enlightenment and endarkenment. Simply put, we all have a dark side of impure consciousness, and a light side of pure consciousness. Selfishness and selflessness. Most of us dwell in the middle, confused.

Universal knowledge is neutral, but may be used to deliberate ends.

On the edges of society, there are those who are endowed with empathy who are genuinely working towards enlightenment and the benefit of all sentient beings. There are also those lacking in empathy, who work towards their own personal gain and cause suffering to others

Both ends of the spectrum use this universal knowledge deliberately.

Those of us in the middle have become indifferent to what is going on: we ignore our intuition, and turn a blind eye to subtle, seductive influences. That which is evil works – in a subtle way – towards keeping our eyes closed. That which is enlightened works – in a subtle way – towards opening them.

If we are looking for the evil in this world, we must first look at our own ignore-ance.

In this period of world history, we are allowing the dark side to take hold. The balance will change when people wake up to reality, as opposed to the seemingreality.

“But what about those evil globalists?”

We consent to their activities because we fall for their glittering, digital trinkets. We rely on others for our salvation, rather than looking within. Our bodies are manipulated, our brains are manipulated, our consciousness is manipulated. If we live in Plato’s shadow cave, then we live a lie, and are deceived.

Both the enlightened and the endarkened know about the human frailties of desire, aversion and indifference. This is the law of the universe – attraction, repulsion and inertia.

The only difference is that the enlightened know emptiness and the endarkened do not. Emptiness has to be experienced: only then we can do no evil, Evil cannot understand emptiness because, in emptiness, there is nothing to gain.

Come out of the dark and into the light.
The view is fine.

😀

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BUYING INTO THE PACKAGE

Buying Into The Package
– Materially And Spiritually

The package:
to accept that an idea is right and allow it to influence you.”

The Buddha’s main point was not to take his word that you are pure consciousness; see for yourself!

This is why practitioners finally go into isolation, so as not to be influenced: they drop the package entirely. Until then, his teachings are a generalisation, and we have to make it personal!

There are spiritual teachings, translations, commentaries and rituals on the nature of reality. We may accept this approach and allow it to influence us, or we can take to heart the very essence of those teachings and personally investigate to see if they are true or not, rather than merely accepting what we’ve been told.

It is the same with ordinary life: we can buy into being that job, title or status, and the ethos or custom of our family or country – or we can find the way which genuinelysuits our temperament.

When we look at our ‘temperament’, we find that it is our personal set of confusions. Clearing those confusions is our way, our spiritual path; realising those confusions is our tool for empathy to work for the benefit of others. It is that which is our uniqueness. We may be in a group, but that does not mean we all feel the same way. On observation, we can see people squeezing themselves into a stereotype, which looks very uncomfortable! We have to realise the specific desires and aversions that bind us, and we may discover that these are usually dependant on others.

The Buddha’s teachings are generalised: it is only when we see for ourselves and test for ourselves that those same teachings become personal. They become a reality.

Everything that is created is dependant on parts and conditions, so no thing exists inherently, in its own right. Everything is therefore empty of true reality, because parts and conditions change and rearrange themselves, thus bringing about other creations – and this also applies to that which we refer to as ‘me’ (the package, the skandha). The universe is infinite: there is no one moment in time when everything started.

Meditation = cutting the strings to the package!

This is why practitioners finally go into isolation, so as not to be influenced: they drop the package entirely.

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THERE’S NO I?

There’s No I?
That’s confusing – and little upsetting – isn’t it?

Here, we have to tread the path of the middle way – not too tight and not too loose. Saying there is no I does not mean that you do not exist; that would be daft. But we do not exist in the way in which we see ourselves. We form a view of ourselves via reflections in the mind, while ignoring that which is seeing. This same mistake we all make … shocking isn’t it?

We also see ourselves in the light of a ‘social I’, whereby people respond to us and we bounce off that reflection, creating an association.

The mind has been fed ideas generation after generation, and we have come to believe that these ideas are us. That has been our reality for a very long time. Can you see the duality and confusion so created? It’s like going the the cinema; we believe in the pictures and react to them, but it’s all an illusion with sugary drinks and pop corn. Illusionists make money out from us believing in a virtual reality.

We are actually consciousness. Within that is pure consciousness, which has neither name nor description, and is empty of bias or distortion.There is no viewer, but just the view. If consciousness gets caught up in a viewer, this gives rise to an I: we relate to the view and make judgements, and this creates our illusory reality. Whatever is viewed is temporary as it comes and goes, while the viewing does not change.

Still confused – and maybe a little upset?
We were born into a cinema full of people who believe what they see to be reality, just like Plato’s shadow people in the cave. Stopping and taking a good look at what has been happening, we realise that we have been living within others’ projections.

Are you now very confused and upset? 😀
It can all be a bit of a shock. The closer we look, the worse it gets. The better our understanding, the happier we are, as we no longer believe in others’ caves!

I’ve been engaged on this investigation for fifty years, and it’s still a shock! The shock is that people do not realise their potential. Why is this? There is evil all around, causing us to believe in virtual reality in a digital cave – and you don’t have to be religious to realise this.

The ‘I’ is now just an empathy-tool.

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DO WE HAVE TO BE SPECIAL TO BE SPIRITUAL?

Do We Have To Be Special To be Spiritual?

The Buddha saw that everyone has Buddha nature, but we’re asleep. The word ‘Buddha’ merely means awake and pure, so from that point of view, no one is special … equally, we are all special 😀 .

We do not need titles, shaved heads, long beards, robes, thrones, fancy buildings, hoards of devotees. We don’t have to be monks and nuns. We only need an open heart and an open mind, uncluttered with elaborations and rituals. The important thing is to have genuine compassion born from empathy, to be able experience and feel what others feel – and we cannot do this in an spotless, ivory tower, merely quoting text. An empathetic mind and heart is what matters.

‘Spiritual’ merely means non-material; that is consciousness. We all have consciousness, and the potential to realise that we are that consciousness. If we wrap ourselves up in ‘spirituality’ and ‘religion’, we will not experience the rawness of life. The Buddha had to do just that. He left the safety of his father’s palace and saw for himself the poverty, ugliness, old age, sickness and death in the world = suffering.

We have to do the very same thing – experience life with all its deceptions, knocks and trauma. It is only through genuinely experiencing suffering that we will wish to escape this suffering: in this way, compassion for others is engendered. Until then, we will enjoy the nightmare of conformity, covering up how we truly feel – in the same way as everyone else.

There is nothing special about enlightenment from an absolute perspective. It is only special from a relative point of view, and a relative point of view is ignorant of the absolute point of view.

We’d all like to think that we’re special, but in the realisation of non-duality, special doesn’t exist.

We have space all around us, don’t we?
We are aware of this space, aren’t we?

Space itself is empty,
and we are aware of this emptiness of space.

Likewise, pure consciousness is empty,
and we are aware of the empty nature of consciousness.

Space and awareness are therefore a unity.
Inseparable.

Space is a symbol for the empty nature of consciousness,
so instead of searching for a holy place,
look at space!

That empty space is a reminder of the essence of our being.
No exotic toys needed!

😀

There is nothing inherently wrong with titles, shaved heads, long beards, robes, thrones, fancy buildings, hoards of devotees – but we may reify them, cling to them, become bound to them … the word ‘religion’ means ‘to bind’.

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NO ONE BECAME ENLIGHTENED BY MEDITATING

No One Became Enlightened By Meditating

“No one became enlightened by meditating:
they became enlightened by
dropping the meditation.”

Meditation is the method to come to stillness in the mind, to arrive at empty essence, to realise the non-duality that there is no ‘me’ and ‘meditation’; there is just clear seeing. Once we arrive at the emptiness of clear seeing, we drop the method. If, having arrived, we still apply the method, we are using effort and trying too hard; this is counter productive. We become too serious. To counter this, we need to be familiar with dropping, by “Short moments, many times,” as Tulku Urgyen advised.

Meditation is all about total relaxation, without going to sleep; it is being awake! Relaxing into stillness, we become the stillness, and realise pure, silent, clear awareness. Isn’t it wonderful when we stop doing anything?

Of course, effort is needed in the beginning to cut through the mental clutter and habitual mind games, but once awareness is recognised, awareness/consciousness becomes still, open, and receptive. First, we need boot camp; correctional taming for the adolescent mind by kind nourishment. Then, when we have learnt to be happy, we become the happiness itself.

The intelligent meditate.
The wise do not.

At a certain level of understanding, the world starts to look very crazy and challenging, but we have all ‘been and there, done that’. Empathy is the essence of compassion, and compassion is the realisation of the unity of emptiness and cognisance – the same nature as all sentient beings.

‘Softly softly catchee monkey’ is applying generosity, discipline, patience, perseverance, meditation and wisdom – the six perfections. In Dzogchen, we first realise wisdom, and then the rest follow naturally: other traditions start the other way round. Wisdom is knowing the true reality of all sentient beings, which is pure consciousness.

A word to the wise; start with wisdom, it’s quicker!

NB “A word to the wise” is a shortened version of the phrase, “aword to the wise is sufficient”which basically means that I’ll say one word and you will be wise enough to know exactly what I’m talking about. There is a connotation of the information being passed in a secret way.

Of course, this ‘passing on’ works both ways, as we are constantly being passed ‘wisdom’ that put us to sleep. 😀

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